Thursday, 18 December 2014

Christmas Cracker !

I must confess I haven't done a blog post for a while but today seems like as good a day as any to put up  a selection from the All Weather racing that is on offer at Wolverhampton and Southwell.
I'm going to focus on Wolverhamptons Class 2 Daily Enhanced "Magic Multiples" at Unibet Handicap over 5f 216 yards run at 5.20pm.
There is  a decent field assembled and Caspian Prince and Ballista look sure to create a fast pace for those held up such as Tarooq, Secondo and maybe even Boom The Groom if they can both overcome their draws in 5 and 8 to get to the front.
Tarooq was one of the top performers on the AW last season at Lingfield and is a favourite of mine having broken the course record there, He has won 4 times at Wolverhampton in the past but that was on the old surface and this is new territory and he is approaching 9,
This will be only Secondo's third run for his trainer Robert Stephens, having previously been trained by Roger Charlton, and it will be only his 12th start in total so he is open to further improvement having won well over C and D LTO in a good time. He is also on a favourable mark with Tarooq on a line through Lancelot Du Lac who has beaten them both.
Caspian Prince has won over further than 5f previously but his last 6 wins have come over the minimum distance and although he should run well it seems unlikely that he will be able to hold the finishing kicks of Secondo or Tarooq. CP is coming back after a break so may run a bit free and he was 8th of 8 in this last season.
It is difficult to judge how good Godolphins Pretend is as he has only run 4 times. His last run was 55 days ago and that was his first run since February. He had head gear on for the first time there and although he travelled well he didnt seem to find much when taking up the lead coming into the straight and looked as though he didnt want to go through with his effort.
Tony Carroll runs three in all with Boom The Groom and Saint Pois joining Caspian Prince. Boom The Groom finished in front of Tarooq last time and they are on the same weight again. Tarooq has better form in the bag but Boom The Groom has youth on his side and can improve again. Saint Pois is interesting having only recently been transferred to this trainer from France where he won 3 on the AW from his 8 races. He is surely open to further improvement and maybe this trainer can bring it out but will today be the day ? -  betting check required.
All in all an interesting little sprint that is sure to throw up its share of winners and give us clues for the remainder of the AW sprinting season.
Selection wise I am going to go with Secondo to win (6/1 Ladbrokes) and I will also do an exacta with Tarooq - you should also keep an eye on Saint Pois.
Over at Southwell there is decent 6 runner claiming race and if money was no object to me I would be looking at claiming Moiety who is a half sister to winning sprinters inc Mirza (5f Group 3) and Millybaa (Listed-placed 6f) out of 5f Group 2 winning half sister to high class sprinter Prince Sabo.

SECONDO - 3rd @ 8/1.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Ayr Gold Cup 2014

Draw Record last 6 years :
2013 : 19, 18, 22, 16 (26) Good to Soft - Oisin Murphy
2012 : 8, 19, 13, 2 (26) Heavy
2011 : 12, 16, 9, 15 (26) Soft
2010 : 17, 24, 8, 11 (26) Good
2009 : 16, 6, 9, 3 (26) Good
2008 : 20, 21, 26, 11 (27) Heavy
Age of Winner : 5, 6, 4, 5, 5, 4
Results - 
2013 : 1st Highland Colori, 2nd Louis The Pious, Jack Dexter, 4th Heaven's Guest
2012 : 1st Captain Ramius, 2nd Regal Parade, 3rd Maarek, 4th Sholaan 
2011 : 1st Our Jonathan, 2nd Eton Rifles, 3rd Son Of The Cat, 4th Colonel Mak
2010 : 1st Redford, 2nd Victoire De Lyphar, 3rd Hitchens, 4th Genki
2009 : 1st Jimmy Styles, 2nd Barney McGrew, 3rd Knot In Wood, 4th Evens And Odds
2008 : 1st Regal Parade, 2nd Tajneed, 3rd Confuchias, 4th Knot In Wood
2013 Review - 
Another fine renewal of this valuable and prestigious sprint, in which the bottom weights were rated 97. As in the Silver Cup, they raced in two groups at first, before the smaller group of 11 tacked over to join the stands´ side bunch at halfway. That was clearly the place to be and 12 of the first 13 home were drawn in double figures. The time was 0.8sec quicker than the Silver Cup. HIGHLAND COLORI was never far away on the stands´ fence and, after repelling his challengers, won drawing away. 
Time - 1m 12.65s

Friday, 20 June 2014

A Right Royal Saturday !

Saturday sees a couple of the biggest sprints of the season in one day. I may be wrong but I'm not sure we've seen The Wokingham at 5.00pm before.
The Golden Jubilee looks a bit weak for a Group 1 sprint and it could be a big day for one of the number of handicappers in the race. Slade Power is head and shoulders above most of the opposition on speed figures and 4/1 represents a fair price. Gordon Lord Byron(10/1) is back from his travels and there's no Lethal Force or Society Rock this time around so he must be thereabouts.
The Wokingham doesn't really stir the blood either and York Glory last years winner is worth a punt at 12/1.

The Golden Jubilee Stakes - Ascot
History : First run in 1868 as the All Aged Stakes over 1 mile. From 1871 through to 1898 it was run over 2 year old course of about 6f and from 1899 to date over its current distance. It was renamed the Cork and Orrery All Aged Stakes in 1926 and was elevated to Group 1 status and renamed The Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Draw  Record last 6 years:
2013 : 15, 8, 16, 4 (18 ran) Good to Firm - Adam Kirby
2012 : 15, 5, 11, 8 (14 ran) Gd
2011 : 3, 7, 11. 10 (16) Soft
2010 : 21, 12, 16, 4 (24) Good to Firm
2009 : 12, 14, 6, 7 (14) Good to Firm
2008 : 18, 20, 17, 19 (17) Good to Firm
Age of Winner - 4, 6, 4, 4, 3, 3
Result :
2013 : 1st Lethal Force, 2nd Society Rock, 3rd Krypton Factor, 4th Gordon Lord Byron
2012 : 1st Black Caviar, 2nd Moonlight Cloud, 3rd Restiadargent, 4th Soul
2011 : 1st Society Rock, 2nd Monsieur Chevalier, 3rd Star Witness, 4th Elzaam
2010 : 1st Starspangangledbanner, 2nd Society Rock, 3rd Kinsale King, 4th Fleeting Sprit
2013 Review - 
They raced up the middle of the track, but the first three finishers were all positioned towards the near side of the group (like the winners of the Chesham and Wokingham) and may have been at an advantage.LETHAL FORCE, under a good ride from Adam Kirby, saved plenty before being committed and that helped him reverse recent York form with the held-up Society Rock. The time was 0.43 seconds quicker than the Wokingham. 
Lethal Force had looked flattered by his success in last year´s Hungerford Stakes, when he was blinkered for the first time (had earlier worn cheekpieces) and just held on after being allowed to open up a clear advantage. However, he put up an improved performance with the headgear left off on his reappearance and he had clearly progressed a good deal again. He edged slightly left under pressure, but had the race in safe keeping from some way out. 
While Society Rock couldn´t confirm York form with Lethal Force, he dealt with the others quite comfortably. This was the fourth straight year he´s contested this race after taking second in 2010, winning it 2011 and claiming fifth last term.

The Wokingham Stakes - Ascot
History : First run on 21st July 1813 it was named after the town near the course. It was in this race that Lester Piggott recorded his first Royal Ascot win on Malka's Boy in 1952. 
Draw Record last 6 years :
2013 : 22, 18, 15, 29 (26) Good to Firm - Jamie Spencer
2012 : 15, 23, 16, 6 (28) Good
2011 : 11, 16, 15, 3 (25) Soft
2010 : 31, 20, 28, 18 (27) Good to Firm
2009 : 4, 5, 7, 24 (26) Good to Firm
2008 : 1, 26, 6, 23 (27) Good to Firm
Age of Winner : 5, 6, 4, 5, 4, 4
Result :
2013 : 1st York Glory, 2nd Shropshire, 3rd Dinkum Diamond, 4th Khubala
2012 : 1st Dandy Boy, 2nd Waffle, 3rd Hawkeyethenoo, 4th Morache Music
2011 : 1st Deacon Blues, 2nd Waffle, 3rd Pastoral Player, 4th Anne of Kiev
2010 : 1st Laddies Poker Two, 2nd Striking Spirit, 3rd Palace Moon, 4th Knot in Wood
2013 Review - 
They shunned the far side here, with the main bunch racing more towards the middle and a smaller group of six racing stands´ side. The first three raced in the larger group. The final time was 0.43sec slower than the Golden Jubilee.YORK GLORY was held up at the rear of the centre group and travelled strongly as usual. Not asked for his effort until reaching the furlong pole, he picked up well once asked and saw it out strongly. He´d run well in defeat at York last time in a race that´s worked out well, and off just a 2lb higher mark he was fully entitled to be involved here. He was one of only two in the race that holds a Group 1 July Cup entry (the other, the 3yo Glass Office, finished fifth).

Monday, 16 June 2014

The Kings Stand

History : First run in 1860 as the The Queens Stand Stakes/Plate over the 2 year old course of about 6f. The distance was reduced to 5f in 1907 with the name of the race having changed to The Kings Stand Stakes in 1901.
Draw Record last 6 years :
2013 : 14, 5, 10, 6 (19 ran) Good - Johnny Murtagh
2012 : 7, 8, 22, 3 (22 ran) Good to Soft
2011 : 14, 18, 10, 15 (19 ran) Gd
2010 : 11, 4, 3, 5 (12) Gd
2009 : 1, 15, 14, 9 (15) Good to Firm
2008 : 11, 9, 12, 1 (13) Good to Firm
Age of Winner -  6, 6, 6, 5, 5, 3
Result :
2013 : 1st Sole Power, 2nd Shea Shea, 3rd Pearl Secret, 4th Jack Dexter
2012 : 1st Little Bridge, 2nd Bated Breath, 3rd Sole Power, 4th Medicean Man
2011 : 1st Prohibit, 2nd Star Witness, 3rd Sweet Sanette, 4th Overdose
2010 : 1st Equiano, 2nd Markab, 3rd Borderlescott, 4th Nicconi
2013 Review -
SOLE POWER, bidding to become the first Irish-trained winner of the King´s Stand since Bluebird in 1987, was proven at this level having won the 2010 Nunthorpe and was running in this race for the third time, having finished eighth in 2011 and third last year.  With Johnny Murtagh back and the ground staying in his favour, things went perfectly, even though he had to switch to his left in order to get a clear run. He was out in plenty of time and produced a storming finish to grab the prize near the line. Murtagh has commented since that he feels that the stand side at Ascot is a huge advantage.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Dash at Epsom

History :
Draw Record last 6 years :
2013 - 19, 1, 5, 13 (17 ran) Good - 55.22s
2012 - 2, 16, 15, 3 (20 ran) Good to Firm - 53.69s
2011 - 9, 13, 10, 1 (16) Good to Firm - 54.30s
2010 - 15, 14, 16, 9 (19) Good to Firm - 54.22s
2009 - 18, 12, 11, 1 (18) Good to Firm - 54.67s
2008 - 8, 19, 12, 17 (19) Good - 55.33s
Age of Winner - 4, 4, 6, 6, 9, 6
Result :
2013 : 1st Duke Of Firenze, 2nd Smoothtalkinrascal, 3rd Dinkum Diamond, 4th Fair Value
2012 : 1st Stone of Folca, 2nd Desert Law, 3rd Catfish, 4th Taajub
2011 : 1st Captain Dunne, 2nd Confessional, 3rd La Fortunata, 4th Sohraab
2010 : 1st Bertoliver, 2nd Hawkeyethenoo, 3rd Rocket Bob, 4th Judge N'Jury
2013 Review :
A typically competitive renewal of this hot sprint handicap, and a fantastic finish, with the first two home cutting through the field in the closing stages from seemingly impossible positions.DUKE OF FIRENZE, who showed he could handle a downhill track when scoring at Goodwood earlier in the season, was well backed but his chance looked negligible when he had just three behind him 2f from home. However, once switched and meeting the rising ground, he powered up the hill and got a clear run through to strike the front near the line.
Race FactsDandy Nicholls has a good record in this race having had the winner in 02, 03, 05 and 09. His 42 runners have brought 4 wins and 5 places. Steve Williams has had 7 runners from which he has had 2 winners and 2 places.

This year is an equally competitive race as in previous seasons and it looks set to be the usual frantic pace with the question of whether the front runners can hold on from the fast finishers.

Front runners Caspian Prince, who has run probably the fastest times of the field in recent races, Even Stevens, Tangerine Trees and Judge'N Jury look likely to be forcing the pace but I think Addictive Dream wont be too far behind.  The latter fits into a lot of the trends for the race and being trained by a sprint maestro David Nicholls, who has an excellent record in this race, he looks sure to go well at a big ew price.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

York Races

I had a good day today sprint wise as I backed both Maarek and Aetna, who both won.

I didn't post either as selections on the blog I've become a bit deflated by the lack of comment or donations to my winning selections over the last few months.

If I get a few comments before the weekend I will look to review Saturdays action on the blog, so it's down to you.

Keep an eye on the going tomorrow as it could dry out a bit and high numbers may hold sway if the course rides anything like last season.

Good Luck !

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

On the banks of the River Dee

Chester racecourse sits on the banks of the River Dee and all racing eyes will be on it tomorrow as its the start of the May meeting.
It goes without saying that you need a low draw in all events her  - even the Chester Cup invariably goes to a low drawn horse and with that in mind we look at the 5f sprint at 3.15.
On draw then the main players would appear to be Caspian Prince (1), Top Boy (2) and Go Nani Go (3) and as all three have had the benefit of a run already this season its difficult to see any of those who are drawn higher, who don't have the benefit of having a previous run, causing them too much trouble.
Caspian Prince in the plum rail draw is all speed as he showed when winning recently at Epsom, over the fastest 5f in the country, despite having an awkward start and hopefully James Doyle wont have those problems here. The only downside is that the horse has not run here before which also applies for Go Nani Go although he has the benefit of the course experienced Franny Norton aboard. Top Boy on the other hand has run here twice but not been placed.
Ballista is certainly another to consider as he has won twice here before so has no problems with the track and he will be bang there from the off and may be able to grab the rail if Caspian Prince and Top Boy have any problems getting going at the start, which is not unknown.
If Caspian Prince starts well then the rail draw should prove decisive as he won with a bit in hand at Epsom, however any chinks may be found out by Ballista who could be EW material.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Palace House Stakes

Today is a question of whether the new kids on the block can beat the old kid Sole Power - the latter won it last year and was doing all his best work at the finish up the hill so he has no problems with the course. His love affair with Murtagh is over and he teams up with Ryan Moore today. Although Sole Power is a little bit older now his experience and class can shine through on his favoured going provided Moore brings him through horses with his challenge.
Jamie Spencer has opted for Pearl Secret over Hot Streak even with the going as it is and he is a horse that is still open to plenty of improvement having only run 7 races in total. He ran just the once last year when third to Sole Power in the Kings Stand before injury curtailed his season. He won on his latest start at Nottingham but that looked a penalty kick without a goalkeeper.
Last years second Kingsgate Native could easily get amongst them again as like Sole Power he has a superior speed figure and Moviesta could, at this stage, be the best of the rest.
Looking through the field and the connections comments below there are horses who will improve for the run, as they have other targets in mind, and also others running on going that is not ideal, however in Sole Power we have a previous winner returning - who is fit, having run well in Dubai, and he has his favoured going which makes him the selection for me.

Previous runnings:
History : The event is named after Palace House, a famous building in Newmarket on the site of a royal residence of King Charles II. The race was established in 1961, and the first running was won by Galivanter.
Draw Record last 6 years :
2013 - 9, 11, 10, 7 (17 ran) Good to Firm - Johnny Murtagh
2012 - 2, 4, 6, 10 (16 ran) Good to Soft
2011 - 3, 10, 5, 11 (15) Good to Firm
2010 - 4, 3, 12, 2 (12) Good to Firm
2009 - 4, 1, 14, 9 (16) Good to Firm
2008 - 11, 8, 10, 5 (10) Good to Firm
Age of Winner - 6, 4, 6, 5, 3, 3
2013 : 1st Sole Power, 2nd Kingsgate Native, 3rd Tangerine Trees, 4th Heeraat
2012 : 1st Mayson, 2nd Definightly, 3rd Elusivity, 4th Spirit Quartz
2011 : 1st Tangerine Trees, 2nd Rain Delayed, 3rd Sole Power, 4th Jonny Mudball
2010 : 1st Equiano, 2nd Borderlescott, 3rd Blue Jack, 4th Sole Power
2013 Review
The field were spread out from the middle of the course to the stands´ rail and, while the main players emerged from the centre of the bunch, they were probably just best on the day. The time was only 0.21 seconds outside the track record. SOLE POWER, fourth in this in 2010 and third in 2011, got a good lead into the race from Tangerine Trees, he travelled well and found plenty, despite not convincing he was totally at home on the undulations and ridden to lead inside final furlong, ran on strongly to win.

Connections comments

Des Lynam - Sole Power: "He goes there in good form. The draw (stall six) looks fine and the ground should suit him. He came back from Dubai well. He enjoyed his time out there, as usual, and there's not a bother on him since he arrived home. Sooner or later the gravy train is going to stop, but hopefully we might get another year out of him. He's in good shape and has a good jockey on him."

David Revers - Pearl Secret : "Pearl Secret is in fantastic form - David tells me he has never been better. Physically, he is in a much better place than he was last year. He has matured a lot and looks absolutely magnificent. The ground shouldn't be a problem for him. He is by Compton Place, and sometimes that line like to get their toe in, but this horse has a fast-ground action. He obviously had that accident on the horse-walker last year and you wouldn't want to put any undue pressure on his legs. That is a slight concern, but that all appears to be behind him, so hopefully that is the case.
This looks a nice stepping-stone on the road to Royal Ascot and we're looking forward to running him."

Hot Streak  - "Hot Streak is only a three-year-old, but he has been working to an exceptional level this spring and Kevin is in no doubt that he has trained on from two to three," said Redvers.
"In an ideal world we'd like to see a bit of rain as Kevin has always been of the mindset he would like his first run of the year to be on good ground. If it ended up being rattling fast, we'd probably take him out and find him another race somewhere. As is the case with Pearl Secret, it's all about giving him a run somewhere as part of the plan to get him to the Royal meeting."

Extortionist -"He is a very strong horse now and I think he'll come on for the run."

Bryan Smart -Moviesta "He looks great and has wintered really well. It's the start of the year and we can only look forward from here. He showed what he can do when he won his Group Two at Goodwood and he knocked himself in the Nunthorpe, so we know what happened there. I couldn't be more pleased with him at the moment. He's as well as I can get him at home. My horses always improve for a run, but hopefully he'll run a good race."

Kingsgate Native - Cheveley Park Stud, said: "We're very happy with his preparation. He'll probably need the run, and Haydock's Temple Stakes, which he won last year, is probably his main aim."

Roger Varian - Justineo and Rocky Ground.
He told his website, "Justineo was very progressive over five furlongs last season. It is a strong race but I believe he is up to this level and will run very well.
Rocky Ground came good at the end of last season when winning at Beverley. I think he will have a good year but I see this race as a starting point as, ideally, I think he will be better suited to six furlongs in time. His work has been good and hopefully he will be finishing strongly."

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A few days off

I'm taking a few days over the Easter weekend as me and my partner are off to Yorkshire. Results haven't been going my way and these early weeks are always tricky when there is a mix of horses that have run and those that are coming back from a break.
Funnily enough I was going to select Chooseday ew today at 20/1 but I chickened out last night. What I need is a decent winner to get confidence back.
Tomorrow of course is the Abernant at Newmarket and it looks another head scratcher withhorses changing   distance and others taking each other on again. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Pontefract Class 2

I haven't had the greatest start to the sprinting year but hopefully I will soon be back on track. However there is no use hiding away and we have to be bold and carry on and David O'Meara's Louis The Pious can hopefully get us back into at least the first three at Pontefract on Monday and some ew money at his current odds of 7/1.
He is running off the same mark of 98 from which he came second in the Ayr Gold Cup, half a length in front of Jack Dexter, and surely that sort of form entitles him to go close provided he is ready for his first run of the season. He tends to run on well so the uphill finish should suit him well and the stable have had a couple of winners so far. He also finished 7th, beaten 4 lengths, in the Stewards Cup and the 4th, 5th, 6th and 10th are all entered in the Group 3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket this Thursday.
Fast Shot, Yeeoow and Baby Strange, who have all run once this season already, could give him the most to do, but he must surely be placed.

There are plenty of decent sprints on this week and I will try and review a number of them.

Looking back over the weekend, although not a sprint, I thought Spa's Dancer ran a cracker in the Newbury Spring Cup and he must surely be not far from a win whilst the softish ground is still around.

On a different note I've booked some tickets to see Kodaline in concert in Liverpool. They will be playing at the massive Liverpool Cathedral over the Sound City weekend and it should be a great setting for this excellent band.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Painting by Numbers ?

Dutch Masterpiece looks a horse on the up and he can get back on the winning trail in the 4.15 Class 2 Handicap at Newbury over 5f 34yards.
He is top weight but his trio of wins last summer all looked good on the eye and he should be able to lie up with the pace before producing the telling turn of foot that he has to come out on top and with Ryan Moore in the saddle it presents the icing on the cake.
He's a skinny price but you can get 11/4 with Ladbrokes and Paddy Power and although, as the Racing Post says, there are others lurking down the weights they are running on what they have shown whereas Dutch Masterpiece could still be open to further improvement having only had 10 starts to date.

Good Luck !

Monday, 7 April 2014

Weekly Review - Aintree

Looking back at the National meeting last week we had many confirmations of Cheltenham form over the three days and not least in the National winner itself Pineau De Re. The winner was French bred for extreme distance and this is born out by the dosage index and that he was related to Otage Du Perche who won the 3m5f Grand Steeplechase De Paris. He was the third 11yo in succession to win the big one and prior to that there were two 10yo winners so the balance has tipped in favour of the older horse. He was really on top at the end running on strongly and if he had 10lb more on his back he would probably still have been the winner.

Looking back on his run at Cheltenham in the Pertemps Final he was third to Fingal Bay and Southfield Theatre.The latter grabs me as a Royal Sun Alliance type for Nicholls, he was carrying 7lb more than Pineau De Re and his trainer said afterwards that "He will be some awesome chaser next year" and he is not often wrong in the assessment of his emerging talent.

One or two to take out of the National are Double Seven, who was running on unfavourable going. McCoy didn't really give a lot of hope for his chances pre race but next year he will be at the prime age of 9 and no doubt he will be campaigned for the race. He probably wont get the going that he wants as the executive will always strive, it would seem, to get the going on the easy side of good.
Also Alvarado made up an extreme amount of ground in the closing stages and surely if he can lie closer to the pace next time round he can get better his 4th place and maintain his owner and jockeys very good run of places in the race.

It was disappointing to see one of my selections Across The Bay get carried out as they went to go out onto the second circuit. I know his jockey was upset at what happened but surely he has to take some of the blame. It doesn't take Einstein to work out that a loose horse will almost certainly want to return to the stables rather go round the National course again and he should really have placed himself on the opposite side of the loose horse or at the very least dropped back and let it go past.

In the Topham the 6yo Ma Filleule took the field apart and franked the form of Holywell in the process having finished second to him at Cheltenham, Holywell himself had won earlier in the day at Aintree. Ma Filleule recorded a time 7 seconds quicker than his stablemate Triolo D'Alene did in the Topham carrying a stone in weight more and his trainer commented after the race that he had hoped she would take to the fences as she had been the best of the ones he had tried over the National type fences at home. Being only six she may be a longer term prospect for  the National as she probably will have other targets such as the Hennessy and Gold Cup next season for which she will have a 5lb mares allowance.

One thing I noticed in the National after the first circuit was the number of volunteers re dressing the fences once they had been jumped. In previous years I'm not sure this has taken place with such vigour and I can remember from the past big gaps in the fences that the jockeys used to aim for to conserve their mounts energy on the second circuit. This time around though there were no gaps to see on the second circuit so the horses had to jump the fences as though it was the first circuit and this will have placed even further questions against the staying and jumping ability of each horse that was still involved.

Don't know about you but generally the fences looked a bit scruffier than normal and standards seemed to have dropped in that department. Bechers didn't look like the same fence and I think it was something to do with the way it was dressed. I know its been taken apart bit by bit over the years - no brook, reduced drop etc etc but it needs to look the part.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

It's no secret ?

Unfortunately yesterday I overlooked Dinkum Diamond because he had only won over 5f previously, however he had very good 6f form but just hadn't won. For instance he had finished 3rd in last seasons Wokingham - winning the race on his side so it was form for all to see. Granted Jack Dexter seemed to run a bit flat yesterday but the form of last years race with Captain Ramius pretty much worked out with the latter coming out on top this time.

Today there is another big field handicap over 6f and one at the head of the weights who has finished 3rd in the last 2 Portland Handicaps is Secret Witness. He was off a handicap mark of 104 in 2012 and 98 in 2013 and runs here off 95 and this is a track where he has run many good races in big fields so at 25/1 he is worth having a small ew punt on. His run will probably be better the more the going dries out as he has form on Good to Soft and Liam Jones is a good jockey booking.

Good Luck.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Jack the Lad !

I think it has to be Jack Dexter to follow up his win the Cammidge Trophy last year on his favoured soft going. He has 5lb more to carry but over these sprint trips weight doesn't have as great a bearing as everyone thinks and there shouldn't be a problem as regards that. Tropics must be the other one for the exacta as he is an improving sort and the connections will be hoping for big things this season. Captain Ramius proved himself in the race last season so he must be shortlisted for a place.

There is also a Class 2 Handicap at Kempton over 6f on the All Weather and Hoof It and Lancelot Du Lac set the standard there on their course record breaking form when 3rd and 5th behind Tarooq in December over 6f at Lingfield. There wont be much between them again, although Lancelot Du Lac seemed to have the better turn of foot in that race, and it's whether one of the others down the bottom of the handicap can step up to their standard.

Hasopop was a blog favourite last season and hopefully he can win later on at Kempton.

Good Luck ! 

Friday, 28 March 2014

The Flat is Back !

Jack Dexter bids for his fourth course success and back-to-back victories in the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster. Trainers comments re the main challengers below :
Jim Goldie re Jack Dexter "He seems in similar form to last year. He has more weight to carry than last year, but he carried the penalty when he won the Wentworth Stakes on his last run in November. He likes the course, he likes the distance and the ground, so hopefully he'll run well."
Michael Dods re Mass Rally "He's in good form, but he seems to come to himself later on in the season. He looks well and will improve for the run. The only thing in these Listed and Group races is there's not a lot of runners and he seems to be a better horse in a big-field handicap when they go flat out.
Dean Ivory re Tropics "He's very well. Ideally, like a lot of trainers, I could have done with another week or two. We lost a bit over the winter with all that rain, so we're chasing a little bit of time. He's not 100 per cent, but he's not far off it and hopefully he'll go for the Abernant at Newmarket on the 17th (of April) and if nothing else it will be a prep race for that. It's a good place to start. They've changed the ground to soft and I'm not overly worried. He does appreciate a bit of cut in the ground. It should be OK and I expect a big run."
Richard Hannon re Maureen "Maureen reverts to sprinting for the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster, and, though it will be tough for a filly taking on the colts so early in the year, she is in very good form. She won the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot as a two-year-old, so we know that she has the class, and, having captured the Fred Darling at Newbury when we tried her over seven (furlongs) for her first run last year, we had to give her a chance of classic glory. She ran well in both the English and Irish 1000 Guineas and also the Coronation at Royal Ascot, but she has so much speed that we think it is worth going back to sprinting to start with, and this is a big drop in grade for her."

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Big Weekend Ahead !

With the going looking likely to change to something with Soft involved it's difficult to know where to start with The Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster however should it turn soft, as predicted, we have last years first and second in Jack Dexter and Captain Ramius. The latter is 5lb better off this time however Jack Dexter won with something in hand on the Soft last March and there's every chance he will do so again as he probably improved as the season went on.
One who could give them a run for the money is Tropics who is only lightly raced having only run 13 times and his last two wins have come on Good to Soft. His latest win was in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes at Ascot where he won some authority by three and a half lengths and he's not going to be crowded out here as he was at Ayr with only 9 other opponents.
Dinkum Diamond has only won at 5f previously and was pretty disappointing last season so not expecting him to be giving too much trouble.
Es Que Love has done most of his running over further and not sure this is the right race for him.
Heaven's Guest was at his best at the beginning of last season and he has form on Soft. Like Tropics he is lightly raced so is open to improvement. The Duke of York is the early season target so this may be a warm up for that.
Inxile hasn't won since 2012 and Jimmy Styles, although he still runs some good races, he is now 10.
Mass Rally was only beaten a head by Jack Dexter on levels in July on Good to Soft last season so he could be there or thereabouts and maybe the ew value.
Finally Maureen is another lightly raced sort with only 10 runs to her name but the last time she ran over 6f was when she was two.
At this stage, although it will all depend to some extent on  the weather, I think it will be between Jack Dexter, Tropics, Heavens Guest and Captain Ramius.

William Hill Betting
Jack Dexter 9/4
Tropics 5/2
Maureen 11/2
Captain Ramius 10/1
Heavens Guest 10/1
Mass Rally 12/1

2013 Jack Dexter49-515/8FJim GoldieGraham Lee110
2012 The Cheka69-212/1Eve Johnson HoughtonNeil Callan113
2011 Jimmy Styles79-222/1Clive CoxAdam Kirby111
2010 Inxile59-517/2David NichollsPaul Hanagan111
2009 Prime Defender59-23/1FB W HillsMichael Hills112
2008 Aahayson49-214/1K R BurkeFergus Sweeney110
2007 Rising Shadow69-513/2David BarronJimmy Quinn113
2006 Les Arcs69-215/2Tim PittNeil Callan116
2005 La Cucaracha48-1116/1B W HillsMichael Hills103
2004 Goldeva58-1140/1Reg HollinsheadTony Culhane101